American muscle is infectious. Just as the oversized, extravagantly-styled, and powerful American cars from the 1950s and ’60s intoxicated the “Baby Boomer” generation of the United States, so, too, did it conquer the hearts of the Swedish.
Nowhere is this fact quite so evident as at Sweden’s annual “Power Big Meet.”
This year, from July 2nd through the 4th, the town of Västerås, Sweden played host to the 38th annual Power Big Meet, which saw some 20,000 mostly vintage, American cars make the trek. The majority of these cars (and their owners) are already local to Sweden, but Reuters spoke to one Al Young – a former World Champion Drag Racer from Seattle, Washington – who drove 7,000 miles through Europe to get to the Power Big Meet.
The car he piloted: a 1973 Plymouth Road Runner.
“The Swedes here are just crazy for these cars,” said Young. “When you put so much work in a car, it’s in your soul.”
Sweden’s annual Power Big Meet is a throwback to its “Raggare” subculture, reports Reuters – a drunken, rebellious youth culture not unlike America’s own “greasers.” It was a rowdy youth culture established by hard working, blue collar Swedes, and its ties to vintage American cars were rooted in their ready availability; expat owners left many of them behind to be sold off on-the-cheap. Sweden’s Raggare were more than happy to snatch them up.
Fast-forward to today, and the annual Power Big Meet has quite possibly become the world’s largest classic car show. As Americans, our chances of attending the festivities may be limited, but perhaps we can at least take pride in Sweden’s cultural homage.